Thank you Everyone!

About a month and bit ago my sister was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She’s being treated with chemo and is expected to fully recover. We held a cancer fundraiser at Modern Club last Friday with the help of the BC Cancer Foundation, Pure Image Entertainment and the support of a lot of friends. I even shaved my head!

Thank you everyone for supporting and donating to the BC Cancer Foundation. We all got together and raised over $2200.

 

It’s funny. In the past couple of weeks I’ve talked to so many friends who have gone through or known someone close to them who have had cancer. A mother, brother, aunt, sister. My dads friend of 35 years. Some have beat it, some unfortunately not. Everybody had a story and when we told them, everybody felt instant empathy for one another, understanding. It’s amazingly scary how this is such a common tale, how we all know someone who was affected by Cancer. This speaks to how wide spread it is and how we need to beat it.

Please keep supporting any way you can. I will be! If you would like to pass around the link or donate to the fund yourself, please click the link below. Thanks!

http://bccf.convio.net/site/TR/Events/General?pxfid=7540&fr_id=1250&pg=fund

My Next event: The Underwear Affair! For cancer research below the waist.. a 10k Run/5k walk in your underwear. Come join me!

Cancer

It’ll never happen to me. I see it on the news all the time but they’re just strangers. I hear about it but never really paid much attention to it. Those were all things I’d said before about cancer. It was like watching a movie on war in Iraq, it seems so surreal and fictional because it’s a world away, it’s not our neighborhood that is being bombed. It’s not us that’s doing the shooting, the killing, the dying. Unfortunately the soldiers coming home in body bags is very real and so is cancer. It’s an ugly, messy, dirty disease. My little sister was diagnosed with Non-Hodgekins Lymphoma last week after months of illness.  

 It’s weird how much you notice something when it’s right there in front of your face. It’s not just in front of me now though. It’s screaming at me aggressively, dangerously close. I try to flinch and move away but I can’t, I’m stuck in this spot, this position and I can’t move. It’s like my feet are encased in solid cement and there is a heavy fog around me. I can feel it lurking just beyond my reach, snarling and growling, but I can’t see it and I’m helpless against it. I was scared and angry, emotionally drained. I can’t even begin to imagine how she must feel.

 

She’s the strongest person I know. She’s travelled around the world by herself and with friends and family and been to places I could only wish to visit one day in the far future. She talks about countries and experiences that are so foreign to me as if they were the neighborhood grocery store, with such familiarity and enthusiasm (yes she talks about food with the same excitement). Her career as a teacher drains her on a daily basis. She uses her talents and unending patience to teach special needs children and comes home with stories of her work days that would make my very worst days at the office seem like a tropical vacation on the isles of Hawaii, sipping on MaiTais and watching hula girls in grass skirts. She has 3 degrees and is almost finished her Masters program at UBC and aspires to become a student councilor, selflessly devoting her career to helping kids find their way in life. Even now, in the face of one of the most deadliest diseases in the world, she still smiles and jokes around, her soul full of spirit and the very example of a brave soldier. I admire her so much.

 

She’ll get better, she will. Her first treatment of chemotherapy was yesterday and she’ll have to undergo 5 more over the next several months. She’ll be weak and her immune system will be Hiroshima’d, but she’ll be strong again, well again. She’s too strong of a person to let a little thing like cancer bring her down. It’ll never happen to me, I once thought. I never expected it to happen to my sister, my family, someone so close to me. I’d donated to cancer funds before, ran in the Underwear Affair to help raise money for cancer research, but always was just doing those things for faceless strangers. As much as I don’t want it, I now have a face to run for, a name to put on my “I’m doing this for…” tag. My sister and I were reading a book on cancer last week and it stated 1 in 576000 will be struck by lightning, 1 in 67 people will die from a car accident and 1 in 3 will have cancer. Well, now I guess she doesn’t have to worry about being struck by lightning or dying in a car accident. She’s already paid her dues to the odds and she’ll beat it, all the while with a smile on her face and friends and family by her side.

Random Thoughts

My biff Bonnie sent me this list today. I was reading through this and realized…”Hey, these are my thoughts! wth…” So I came to the conculsion that either she’s a mind reader and has been poking around in my subconscious or these random thoughts are shared by everybody. Though the first option seems more plausible, maybe other people have little moments too.

-More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think
about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell
my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.

-Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize
you’re wrong.

-Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you’re going
in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going?
But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from
which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or
phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no
one in the surrounding area thinks you’re crazy by randomly switching
directions on the sidewalk.

-I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was
younger.

-Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the “people you may know”
feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to
be friends with?

-Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn’t
work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix
the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to
fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ’s. We just
figured it out. Today’s kids are soft.

-I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than
take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

– LOL has gone from meaning, “laugh out loud” to “I have nothing else to
say”.

– Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart”, all I
hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart”.

– How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and
smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?

– I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up
to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

– Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using ‘as in’
examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot.
Today I had to spell my boss’s last name to an attorney and said “Yes that’s
G as in…(10 second lapse)..ummm…Goonies”

– While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and i nstinctively
swerved to avoid it…thanks Mario Kart.

– Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person
died.

-I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.

– Bad decisions make good stories

– Is it just me or do high school girls get sluttier & sluttier every
year?

-If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring
would probably just be completely invisible.

-Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go
around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly
nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I’m from, this shouldn’t be
a problem….

-You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work
when you’ve made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything
productive for the rest of the day.

-Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don’t
want to have to restart my collection.

-There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are
going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

-I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me
if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I
swear I did not make any changes to.

– “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this
ever.

-I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people
watching TV. There’s so much pressure. ‘I love this show, but will
they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren’t
watching this. It’s only a matter of time before they all get up and
leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?’

-I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?
Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and
goes to voicemail. What’d you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone
and run away?

– I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not
seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

– As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers,
but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
-Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still
not know what time it is.

-I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they
drive behind obeys the speed limit. — THE ANSWER IS YES!!

My Favorite Quotes

Some people work hard now to play hard later, only to realize that while the brain is willing, the body is unable. 

Others play hard now with the thought to work hard later, only to come to the crossroads and realize that they’ve been left behind. 

The best mix is to play hard now and work hard now, to enjoy life if all of its different stages through the years 

With no sacrifice to yesterday or tomorrow. 

-me 

~~

The most successful people are the ones who have failed the most. 

No matter how many times you’ve failed, it won’t be your last. What’s the worst that could happen? Nobody ever died from failure. 

It’s the lack of action after failure that kills people. 

-David Needleman, ex CEO and founder JetBlue Airways, part of Southwest Airlines, WestJet, Azul, and Open Skies – 2002 

~~

The reasonable man adapts to the world. 

The unreasonable man makes the world adapt to him. 

Therefore all progress in the world rests with the unreasonable man. 

-George Bernard Shaw 

~~

Don’t just find a job. Find an opportunity. 

A job is just a job. 

But an opportunity can make you rich. 

-Simon Lu 

~~

Don’t get caught up being too much of a pleaser. I will try my best to keep others happy, 

So long as it doesn’t compromise my own happiness. 

-Brian Budd – Mentor 

 ~~

The international billion dollar corporation has a CEO. 

The beautiful model has a boyfriend. 

The international best selling novel has an author. 

This home has an owner. 

There is no goal that you want, that someone else has not yet achieved, deeming it possible. 

There is no goal that you want, that is unattainable, only perhaps in your mind.

Somebody’s gotta do it. Why not me? 

-me 

~~

New parents sometimes puts so much emphasis on being a good mother or father. 

They forget about being a good wife or husband. 

That’s why there are so many divorces today. 

You need balance. 

-Shannon Hamilton 

~~

Yesterday is History. 

Tomorrow is a Mystery. 

Today, today is a gift. 

That’s why it is called ‘Present’. 

-Sifu – Kung Fu Panda 

~~

Time is all we have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think. 

Randy Pausch (1960-2008) – Author: Last Lecture (Professor diagnosed with pancreatic cancer) 

-one of the best books I’ve read.

Free Mukmuk: the ‘other’ Olympic mascot

Pity Mukmuk. While his friends Quatchi, Miga and Sumi gallivant off everywhere entertaining children in the lead up to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Mukmuk the marmot is left to pick up the trash and tag along behind. For those of you who don’t know poor Mukmuk, he’s the virtual reality sidekick to the Vancouver 2010 mascots. He lives mainly in cyberspace. Well, cyber jail, really, because he doesn’t get out much.

Unlike his friends, who are real mascots, Mukmuk’s parents, the Vancouver Organizing Committee, see him as a pint-sized tag end whose place in the Games seems akin to an afterthought. The end of a sentence. Or, as they say in their literature: “Sidekick to the Vancouver 2010 Mascots.”

Sort of like “secretary to the president” or “official sweeper upper.”

Instead of being the Vancouver Island marmot that he is, Mukmuk has become something of a gofer. As in “Hey Mukmuk, go for this” or “go for that.” And the pity is, he’s the only real animal of the lot.

As a Vancouver Island marmot, he’s one of only an estimated 205 that have survived wolves, eagles and loggers. That makes him almost as rare as Quatchi the Sasquatch, Miga the “sea bear” and Sumi, the thunderbird-like “animal guardian spirit.”

I’ll bet many of you thought when Vanoc unveiled the mascots, “hey, what about that little guy at the end? Why isn’t he also going to be made into a toy?” At least now you can buy little MukMuks with the red olympic gloves at London Drugs. That sold out in about a day leaving tonnes of the “other mascot” toys around. Doesnt that say something?! The Mukster is popular! (or maybe they just stocked 1/8 of his toys vs the other ones.)

So far, all we’ve seen of the little furball is a cameo appearance in the video introduction of the Three Amigos. He’s the poor sod shivering on a mountain top, skiing down to Whistler on a para-ski thrown to him by Sumi, and handing the hot cocoa-drinking mascots an invitation to attend the 2010 Games. He’s had to bring up the rear every time The Officials head off anywhere, holding up a “We’re No. 1” mitt.

The only thing he’s missing is the broom with which to sweep up the confetti at the end of the tickertape parade. Oh, and he takes out the recycling. Vanoc gave him the job of throwing around boxes of recyclables like curling rocks in its interactive game “Operation Recycle” while the headliners lounge on the sidelines.

This is what I see Vanoc describing the little homie as: Mukmuk is a small and friendly Vancouver Island marmot who always supports and cheers loudly for his friends during games and races. When he is not hibernating or sunbathing on rocks and logs, he enjoys getting out to meet other types of marmots and animals. In fact, this is how he became friends with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic mascots.

They also say his hobbies are “eating, burrowing, eating, making friends, eating.” Sounds like me… but not a ringing endorsement of his capabilities, I’d say. Won’t get him any contracts for any other kind of work.

Even I’m not really sure what he is. I mean, I instinctively like him just because he’s the outcast (I have a soft spot for Kogepan too). I know he’s got great things going for him. But what does he like to do? What would he like to do if he was a full-fledged mascot? Where does he live, and with whom? What’s his favorite sport? Does he have any fears (like flying or getting caught while sunning himself on a log?) Apart from Quatchi, Miga and Sumi, who are his friends? Does he have any stories of his own he wants to tell? Poor little guy. All I know is that this Friday when the torch lights the last flame to start the Olympics, I’ll be cheering for Canada just as loud as the little dude.

Top 50 Tips to Live Life By

Check out this site. It’s got 50 Life Secrets to live by and they’re pretty good tips. Here are my top 10 favorites, check out the link at the bottom for the rest of the list!

1.                               Constantly try to reduce your attachment to possessions. Those who are heavy set with material desires will have a lot of trouble when their things are taken away from them or lost. Possessions do end up owning you, not the other way around. Become a person of minimal needs and you will be much more content. 

2.                               Develop an endless curiosity about this world. Become an explorer and view the world as your jungle. Stop and observe all of the little things as completely unique events. Try new things. Get out of your comfort zone and try to experience as many different environments and sensations as possible. This world has so much to offer, so why not take advantage of it?

3.                               Learn to focus only on the present. The past is unchangeable so it is futile to reflect on it unless you are making sure you do not repeat past mistakes. The future is but a result of your actions today. So learn from the past to do better in the present so that you can succeed in the future.

4.                               Don’t take life so seriously! Learn to laugh at the little things and this whole “existence” thing will be a whole lot easier. Be amused by your mistakes and failures and be thankful that you learned your lesson and won’t mess up like that again. And most importantly do things that you enjoy! Life is not strictly business, it can be mixed with pleasure.

5.                               Help others. I’ll just give you a plethora of reasons why this is a MUST

  • Helping people has a ripple effect. If you help someone they will feel more obliged to help someone else, and so on. Pay it forward
  • You grow by giving and helping others. It can change you in ways you never expected
  • Your relationship with that person will become stronger
  • It’s the most fulfilling thing you can do on this planet. It not only feels amazing physically, you also feel like a good person
  • You might be able to call in a favor later when you need some help
  • Karma (if you believe in it)
  • Because there are more people in this world than just you

6.                               Learn to be unaffected by the words of others. Most people get very upset when they are called negative names by others, but there is a simple trick to overcoming this. Here it is:  If I went up to you and called you a fire hydrant, would you be upset? Of course not. Obviously you are not a fire hydrant, you are a human being. The same concept applies to when someone calls you something that you know you are not. They are foolish for saying such things, so why would you react with such anger? The only exception is when someone calls you something that is true! In this case, you should thank them for alerting you to a weakness, one that you can now work on changing.

7.                               Develop the ability to forgive. Forgiveness is something that most people fail miserably at even thought it’s so simple. Grudges only bring more misery to those who hold them and prevent good relations with the target. YOU makes mistakes all of the time so why not have mercy when other do? Remaining angry feels horrible while forgiving someone brings a refreshing sensation to the mind and healing to the relationship.

8.                               Learn to use your eyes to their full potential:

  • Make constant eye contact when in conversation. Looking away (especially down) is a sign of inferiority and unsureness. Instead, look at your conversation partner dead in the eyes and keep them locked on
  • Master the piercing stare. You know when someone looks at you and it feels like they can see into your soul? Well that’s not a hereditary characteristic, it just takes practice. Work on sharpening your gaze in the mirror. You’ll know you have it when it’s intimidating to continue looking at yourself
  • Master the one-eyebrow raise. This one isn’t necessary by any means, but hey, why not? Pick a brow to learn with and go look in a mirror. Raise both of your eyebrows but use your hand to hold down the brow that you want to stay down. This will probably feel very stupid at first but if you keep trying, you will eventually pin down the muscle you need to flex to get that one brow up

9.                               Be mysterious. Don’t let off everything about you and definitely leave out some major details. There is something both alluring and mesmerizing about someone that no one knows fully about. I’m not saying to confide in no one or to alienate yourself. Just think James Bond.

10.                           Don’t burn bridges. By that I mean maintain your relationships with people even if you think you are never going to see them again. For example, if you are quitting your job, don’t chew out your boss before leaving! You might run into him/her again later and life and wish you had never severed ties so harshly. You never know when you might need the help of someone you knew in the past. Plus there is already too much hatred in this world, why add more towards the people you interact with?

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2VeCv9/www.highexistence.com/life-secrets-and-tips/

This Too, Shall Pass

It’s funny how life turns out sometimes. We live so much in what we’re doing now, in today, that often times people don’t realize that tomorrow might be different. We take for granted so many things that make our days the way they are, whether good or bad, until they’re gone or changed. Most recently in the last 2 weeks, I started working at a software company. It’s funny because it’s the same company that sent my boys down to Austin, TX. They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and so I joined the team and now I’m back in the corporate world. When I said I wanted a dual-income household, I didn’t mean for both incomes to be mine! (Corporate sales rep by day, Realtor by night. 2010 is gonna be busy!) On Tuesday, I was in the lunch room getting coffee and the coffee delivery guy looked at me. He stared at me for a little while…

“Pius?” Says he.
“Yes. I’m sorry, I’m new here.”

It turns out I knew him from High School. He didn’t work for my company, but instead he worked for the company that delivered all the coffee to the Bentall buildings downtown. He has 2 kids and was married now, living in New West. He looked tired, that was the only way to describe him…

I’ve been many things in the stages of my life as I’m sure you have been as well. My timeline can be summarized pretty easily by “the days”…

Elementary School Days: Couldn’t speak English, made no friends, got in trouble with the teachers a lot cuz I was “misunderstood” as one of very few immigrant kids growing up in Coquitlam in the 80’s.

High School Days: Nerdy, awkward Asian kid in a sea of Caucasian kids at Port Moody in the 90’s, athlete who got picked on by his teammates

HotShot/Bamboo Days: Asian-ized. (Gangsta gangsta! Blonde streaked, McD’s golden arches style hair and all) Got in trouble a lot. Got arrested, (somehow managed to graduate university) clubs and parties. Good Ol’ Funktion Fridays at BBB and Purple Onion.

Downtown Days: Yuppie. Suit. downtown,  professional, got property. Carved down my huge entourage to a nice compact group of close and best friends. Worked hard and played harder.

Now…Moved out to Burnaby, started new careers, new relationships.

Each time an ‘era’ ended and a new one started, I didn’t realize that I was in it until months or years later. While you’re in it, you think that this is it, that this is your life forever. You can’t see the future, just as I couldn’t and had no way of realizing that one day my life would be different than it was today. I bet all those Wall Street millionaires never imagined that they’d be flat broke and in debt within a month. A great portrayal of this is the movie “The Wrestler”. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. It’s pretty somber. While I was in High School and the way I was, I never imagined that I’d be who I was 2 years later. Even today, I’ve come to the realization that even though I might be where I am now, by tomorrow I could be somewhere else and I don’t mean just a career change or a move, but as an entirely different person on a different path.

The coffee guy wasn’t exactly a friend of mine in high school. He was the star running back on my football team, one of my teammates who wasn’t exactly slick rick to me back in the 90’s. I’m sure back in the day, he never thought he’d be where he is today, just as I never would have imagined I’d be where I am today. Now, older, I take the good days and good times and I don’t take them for granted. I’m happy all the time.  I look at the bad days and the bad times as temporary because if you do something about it, you’ll get out of it. No matter how good or bad today is, tomorrow will be different and time won’t pause just because you’re loving life or hating it, cherishing where you’re at or loathing your situation. As Mr. Tolle has enlighteningly said “This too, shall pass.”

Think too much?

People are funny creatures. We are the only creation of God that has free will and action on thought. All other living beings survive on instinct, the behavioral conditioning of their species. Humans are different, we were given the gift of thought, reasoning and stupidity. Instead of acting on instinct every single time, we are able to choose first whether to act on that instinct or not. If you Pavlov your dog to pee every time he heard a bell, he would for the rest of his life ,if properly trained, pee every time he heard a bell. A bunny will perk his ears if he hears something rustling nearby and will hop the f away if he feels endangered. It’s in their genes to do X when Y happens and they will do it. For people, whether it’s a gift or curse, we can choose to do everything and anything between A to Z of Y happens. Why do you think girls keep going out with bad boys even though they’d gotten hurt by the last 5 bad boys. Or why some guys constantly find themselves poor after falling for diggers everytime. “Oh she’s different.” People are idiots.

One of the cons in my mind of this supposedly gift of conscience and choice is that sometimes we just think way too much. Once something is done, it is done and no amount of dwelling or wishing will change what is done. I always say “If you can do something about it, do it. If you can’t, don’t dwell.” Forget wasting time thinking of the could haves. Be like Tiger, just do it. And if you can’t do it, move on and revisit when you can but don’t waste time sitting there crying about it. If you do that, you’ll do nothing else but cry over spilt dairy.*Sigh* I try to tell myself that as I lay awake for the 5th consecutive night, underslept and overthought, dwelling. While I’m guilty of not following my own advice, if I tell myself that it’s a waste of time enough times, I’ll eventually snap out of it and move onto more productive things better worth my time. ‘Did I do well on that interview, Did I get the job, Oh man I should have said this instead of that, I should have this and that…’ ‘Should I call her? Man she pissed me off though and it’s not what I want but what if. What if this and that. I said I’d do that, and it makes sense to, but what if…’ Time is best wasted flip flopping. More times than not, your first gut decision is the right one and for whatever reason you made that choice is the best logical and emotional one. Now I’m not saying thinking is bad. You have to weigh out all your options and possible paths and make the best go-forward plan, but for Christmas’s sake, don’t change your mind more than once unless new options and paths pop up. If you’re flip flopping between the same points more than 2 times, you’re now obsessing. And obsessing is not attractive.

One of the strengths of powerful and successful people is the ability to make a decision and stick with it. All leaders have this trait to be able to confidently decide the best possible path, choose to go down it and see it through to the end. Of course making changes along the way is good as new things come up, but those decisions to change are still followed through until new things pop up and until they do, no more thought is put into it. So many times I’ve found myself lost in thought of decisions I’d already made. I would lay in bed thinking and driving myself crazy over more things that could have happened instead of focusing on what I should make happen. People are funny creatures. Even though we know what we’re doing is detremental and hazardous to our forward moving, better productive psyche, we sometimes just don’t care and keep doing it anyways.